+ inload: Magos Titus Manderghast +

+ Octavo d'Hands +

+ Extracted from Childeric's notes on Cepheus – Arrival Day +66; Feast-day of San Oltiman + 

+ The suit of Hands, of Second rank in the Cephean card deck, symbolises manual labour and integrity. Inverted, it symbolises indolence and intrigue. The suit corresponds equally to the material and immaterial (wrongfooting some scholars) as on Cepheus, logic and labour have always had associations with the dead. Ferlinghetti has suggested this may be a folk memory of the Tenth Legion Ishtarithough owing to the poor record-keeping of the Cepheans, this will likely always prove speculative. +

Perhaps none symbolise this duality; nor its religious connotations, more fittingly than my old associate, Titus Manderghast, of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Our flight from Purefinder Chaunterwickke – a nighttime flit I have no doubt our host was half-expecting, given her world-weary expression at our request for temporary lodging – has thrown my plans off-kilter. +

+ Perhaps worse, I now suspect that the Owlingmanne has a trail for us. While he has no jurisdiction over the affairs of the Inquisition, he could make things harder than they need be – particularly if he is in the employ of another party. There is something about this world that is peculiarly slippery. It is hard to make grip something that makes sense. +

We had been expecting the Magos to meet us clandestinely at the dockside inn with the sign of the ratfish; but he never showed. As a result, my small band – Ludi, Ferlinghetti and myself – find ourselves inside a wheel-cart driven by Northgrass, heading for the open waters. I must confess to finding the size of the City is bewildering. While I have seen larger settlements – the Suduko Hive on Exercitus is clearly both larger and more populous – there is something peculiar in the rambling overgrown streets of this vast and confusing place. No wonder water is such a scarcity; the hidden rivers must be barely fluid. +

+ I had expected the Widdershins docks to be no more than a day's journey, but with the War raging, Northgrass estimates it will take us more than a week. Even then, Ferlinghetti tells me that they do not mark the edge of the city. Instead, he tells me the city clambers down precipitous cliff-faces, the wooden and pottery structures clinging precipitously atop one another and over the open sea for many miles, like a bridge of blindants crossing a stream. +

+ I can only hope that Manderghast has the information I require. The last time we parted was on Braun VI; and even then he had become somewhat erratic. Doubtless his time spent on this benighted planet has done little to improve the balance of his humours. +

+ It has come to this then; travelling in a splintering coach over bone-shaking cobbles, with a thin supper of canned vardines and pity-seeds for our Saint Oltiman's feast. +

+ Painting Magos Titus Manderghast +

+ A very enjoyable figure to work on, Manderghast was a great chance to depict a side of the Adeptus Mechanicus that I've always liked. Essentially, low-level Magi are as ignorant as anyone else in the Dark Millennium, but bloody-minded enough to follow screeds of irrelevant doctrine and belief in the lares and penates of the 'Machine Spirits' that happen to contain a kernel of relevance – or to put it another way, they follow the holy writ of pulling the choke out just so, before pulling halfway back on the throttle, muttering 'come on come on come on' to yourself and then turning the key to get your car turning over. +

+ It's the same school of thought that pleading with your computer to start up more quickly, banging the side of the television to tune it, or closing and reopeing a program over and over again until it loads. It's mindless, repetitive and bears little relevance to what's actually wrong – and it's perfect for the black humour of lost knowledge in the 41st Millennium. +

+ I wanted the robe to look rust-red, a combination of labcoat, engineer's overalls and priestly vestements. The paint scheme is very limited: orange, yellow, black and white; with a hint of purple and metal. I really, really enjoyed working up the reds and oranges with washes and inks and layers... Great fun; and I'm looking forward to giving the same colours a go on Manderghast's underlings. +

+ This shot is pre-basing; I rarely make major adjustments after this point, but commonly add a little freehand before I declare it absolutely finished. In this case, I added a little red capital to the text on his scanner screen (in his left hand) and a red stripe on the circular badge on his forehead. + 

+ It's surprising what a difference the grass tufts and drybrushing on the base make to the overall finish – and they took no more than thirty seconds. +

+ To bang on a bit about him, I think I'm most pleased with the decision to give him blonde hair. It's very easy to make members of the Adeptus Mechanicus look entirely robotic, or use too much near sci-fi in their look. To me, they should look as much like mediaeval priests as cyborgs. +


KrautScientist said...

He's looking fantastic! The model clearly reads as a Tech-Priest while also showing some almost medieval influences, which I think is a great fit for your setting. He reminds me of the AdMech illustrations in the 2nd edition Codex Imperialis, which is pretty high praise in my book ;)

Also, that rust red you used for his robes is rather delicious!

apologist said...

Thanks! I've been enjoying using the warm palette of reds, yellows and oranges that this project entails. There're some challenges (look out for the Scarlet Blade tomorrow), but it gives results I'm really pleased with.

Joe B said...

Fantastic work on him, the model and the colors look amazing.